EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Major Jack Union of How to Bag a Jabberwock

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How to Bag a Jabberwock. A Practical Guide to Monster Hunting is the first book by Major Jack Union who has managed to talk to us from the early 1900’s about what he does and his experiences.

Want to know about the man who has giving us one of the most important monster hunting books in the last 110 years, well your in luck because we managed to get hold of him.

GS: So, Major Jack Union, can you first tell us about your upbringing and how you came to be in military service?

JU: I was brought up by my mother and she had a vast amount of suitors. They were trying to impress her all the time and so therefore I probably got a better education than I deserved for my standing in life, a very classical education. Unfortunately I got old enough that I was suddenly a hindrance to them, so they shipped me off where all good boys should go and I was put into military service. I started off in the Royal Horse Artillery and we were sent out to quell a small uprising and to move some refugees from one place to another. During this time there was an incident, and we were all called and were told about a planet called Mars that astrologers had deemed a risk. The Royal Horse Artillery were dispatched to Mars and that’s where I got probably my best military training and where I was first awarded any stripes. I became a Lance Bombardier in the Royal Horse Artillery. From then on my military career flourished.

GS: You’ve written a book. Could you tell us the title?

JU: It’s called How to Bag a Jabberwock. It’s a practical guide to monster hunting.

GS: How did you fall into monster hunting in the first place if you were just based in the military?

JU: I came out of the military. My standing was never going to get me huge ranking so I was given the job of a political. I think more people would know this as a “spy”. It meant that I could go around this country and others, and I could spy. Because I had the background I had, and an understanding of things that other people didn’t know, it was disclosed to me that as an Empire when we’d been discovering places and had written on the map “here be Dragons” generally, there were. You don’t want your citizens colonising the globe and starting a new empire only to be eaten by something, and you don’t want to scare them off from colonising the globe in the first place. As a political it was an easy way to get a cover. I would then go out, and as creatures of myth were discovered, it was my job to make sure that they were never discovered again, and to eradicate them, just to keep the empire safe you understand!

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Major Jack Union in the jungle

GS: Of Course! What was the most challenging monster you had to track and why?

JU: That would be the Jabberwock. I’ve always said that I want to take on a dragon. Dragons? You hear about them, they must be out there somewhere, but the closest thing I’ve ever got to one of them is a Jabberwock. Jabberwocks are incredibly rare, and the thing about the Jabberwock is inside their head they have a thing we call the “Jabberwock Egg” or the “Jabberwock Fruit”. It is just a gland, but if it is consumed in its entirety, it will increase your lifespan to such a length that you may live forever. They are much prized. You should only ever hunt the Jabberwock by yourself. The reason I say this is because when you’ve killed something which gives you the chance to create immortality, you then don’t want to be thinking about all the other people with you and now whether they want to bump you off to take that Jabberwock Fruit. I’ve only hunted one on a commission, so I obviously can’t tell you who it went to but as I’ve gone around stately homes in the UK I have seen at least three homes with Jabberwock heads above the fireplace. Those people, I’m sure, will be running around for a very long time!

GS: What advice would you give to someone in the Empire if they ever met a monster themselves?

JU: It depends on what monsters they are. The thing that we’ve done for a long time is we’ve hidden the monsters in full view. For every monster we’ve come across we’ve taken an author with us, or a journalist. They would then report the monster in the most frivolous of terms like in these pulp fiction novels you can pick up by the theatres. If it then gets out that someone says “I came across this” everyone will go “oh no you’re making it up, I read the book about that!” It’s fantasy. So we’ve hidden them in full view and that’s the big problem because now literature where it’s adapting these things, now people think they know a monster, when really they don’t. They know the twisted literature that’s coming about. For instance, I came across a young girl the other day that believed that there was a Vampire stalking her, so I asked for details. She said it was very attractive, it lurked by her bedroom window every night and it sparkled. I told her “that’s not a Vampire, that’s a Faerie”. Literature has now got a stage that people don’t know it. I would recommend if you really want to defend yourself, get the book, read it as a guide and learn exactly what you need to know to defend yourself.

GS: Are you going to be continuing your adventures with the books, and if so, are there any other monsters in there that we can look forward to?

JU: There are! I released the first book because this job was a job which Victoria was very passionate about, but when her son came to the throne he believed it was frivolousness that we didn’t need to go with anymore, so I released the book realising that the Empire still needed to be protected. When the first book came out I realised maybe I hadn’t ticked off every base because there are certain countries that people don’t go to as often which are friends of us, allies of us but they’re definitely not destinations we’ll ever make an Empire of. The second book is more about at sea. We rule the waves. It will be called “How to Catch a Kraken” and rather than Air Kraken, which appear in the first book, it will teach you about creatures of the sea. You’ve got the Leviathan in there as well, but there are other creatures such as Trolls which mainly hang out in Norway, so there are things which aren’t part of the Empire but we will definitely need to tackle at some stage. So the second book is for those more adventurous travellers, the sea going folk.

GS: Good news! So do you one day hope to be able to capture a Dragon?

JU: I’d love to! The moment I hear of a Dragon I’m straight out there, whether I’m commissioned or not! I think it might be the last day on this Earth, but for someone like me, I’m a soldier and we don’t seem to be taking on many countries anymore. That Afghanistan thing seems to be quite sewn up, I don’t know if that will carry on for much longer, and we’re getting on really well with the Germans obviously with them being part of the Royal Family, so I can’t see us falling out with either of those or any more wars coming up. Maybe I’ll just aim for a Dragon!

GS: Major Jack Union, thank you very much for your time!

JU: Thank you!

You can find our review HERE of the book.

Kit Cox can be found in his Victorian inspired art studio, drawing monsters, building time machines or enjoying the works of H.G. wells. Raised in Maidstone, Kent (where he still lives) on a diet of boys own adventures, Carry On movies and Hammer horror. It stood to reason it would all seep back, in later life.  When not surrounded by art he can be seen on stage performing as a stand up comic or bringing literature to life as Major Jack Union.

Reporter: Montoya

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